On parenting

My wife and I became parents 4 weeks ago. Parenting promises to be the mother of all learning journeys. And, my main emotion is one of gratitude after witnessing a miraculous process.

As we headed toward this parenting journey, a few folks tried convincing us that “nothing can prepare you for this.” But, they also told me that before our wedding, graduate school, and other such important life moments. And, they were always wrong. So, that didn’t really deter us.

Our preparation went a really long way in making this as smooth a transition as we could have hoped. As all those who prepare know, preparation can never prepare you for 100% of reality. But, it’ll take you 70% of the way by giving you a good sense of what to expect. And, that 70% makes all the difference in the world come match day.

In the spirit of sharing lessons, I’d like to share a parenting resource that I have been updating since we were expecting. I plan to keep it updated for the foreseeable future. It is a Google Doc I call “A Learning a Day Dad Notes” and is accessible on http://bit.ly/aladdadnotes. In it, you’ll also find a link to my wife’s doc for moms that she has generously agreed to share as well. These notes contain links to another Google doc where we also shared our pre-arrival shopping list. The pre-arrival shopping list was an intense process because expectant parents are a very profitable segment for retailers. And, it took us a lot of effort to separate the signal from the noise and ensure we were spending our money on stuff that would actually matter.

My notes are true to style, i.e., brutally honest. So, I hope you find it useful. You’ll see multiple resources mentioned in the doc. But, I’d like to give a shout to the one website we found incredibly useful – Lucie’s List. Thanks, Meg, for a wonderful website. It is my go-to.

Finally, I don’t want this post to just be a resource dump. So, I’d like to share a passage by the Lebanese American poet “Kahlil Gibran” whose parenting philosophy I hope to live –


On Children by Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.


The depth of this passage always blows my mind. Our daughter’s name, Samvita, means “consciousness” and her name will be a reminder for me to conscious about the many wonderful ideas this passage points to…

Onward.

22 thoughts on “On parenting

  1. What an amazing post.. I think the idea about the dad and mom’s notes is such a beautiful way to journal and share.. Also, I love your daughter’s name. Samvita… can you tell me it’s origin? Love to you and your family.

      1. that is what I thought.. I am studying sanskrit at the Ahimsa school which I attend for Yoga Philosophy and teaching.

  2. Congratulations are most in order!! How exciting. ???? I look forward to reading your notes, including the brutally honest parts, as my husband and I plan to start that journey next year.
    Best wishes to your family. I look forward to seeing how this new aspect of your life influences your writings. I’m sure they’ll growth in depth and introspection and I look forward to following along.
    And congrats on over 4,000 posts as well! Such a great achievement and testament to the effect of daily habits reaping huge reward.

  3. Congratulations!

    Based on comments below, I understand your wife’s and your first names start with the letters ‘T’ & ‘R’. Is it just coincidence that your daughter’s name starts with the letter ‘S’ or was that a conscious decision?

  4. Welcome to the club, Rohan. Our little guy, Rhett, is 5+ months and we’re enjoying (almost) every minute. Rhett fought the swaddle tooth and nail. Now that he rolls over, he’s unswaddled and we miss it because he doesn’t sleep near as well. I’m anxious to give him some rice cereal and see if a full tummy helps, but our pediatrician says wait til 6 months.

  5. Rohan, congratulations to you and your wife! I have enjoyed your blog over the last few years and your insightfulness will be most helpful on your fatherhood journey. I thought you’d like to know that “On Children” was made into a musical recording by Sweet Honey in the Rock. In case you haven’t heard it, here is a link: https://youtu.be/ti0rzHq_0xU. I heard this recorded on a beautiful CD (dating myself) called “Sound & Spirit: Welcoming Children Into The World”. Just wanted to share because many times did this happy and beautiful music fill our home. Many blessings to your family.

  6. Sounds like parents were very well prepared! Congrats! Never heard about this 90 minutes car seat rule. Sounds little silly. Surprisingly, i gave birth in Manhattan, brought a baby back home through Uber with no car seat (do not recommend) and the hospital was ok with it. NYC makes its own rules. :)

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